Recently, for Queer Music Week, CMT hosted a nearly hour-long panel discussion, “Queer In Country Music: A Conversation,” featuring Brandy Clark, Billy Gilman, Chely Wright, and CMT’s own Cody Alan. Via a press release, it was described as “an honest roundtable conversation about coming out, living your truth and hopes for the future as queer artists in the country music community.”
Brandy Clark’s call for country music to unify and push for a reality wherein sexual orientation, gender, and race does not define who can be defined as “as a great artist making great music” is one of many notable takeaways from the enlightening forum.
As well, Chely Wright offered, “[coming out of the closet] is still new and unusual information [for the] country music community to hear,” regarding initial concerns both artists and fans alike have about the nature and state of the present era for queer relations in the genre. “Secrets keep you sick,” offered singer-songwriter Brandy Clark. “I didn’t like that feeling of thinking that I had a secret and that people who knew it had this power over me.” Moreover, Wright replied, “Nothing grows in a closet except mold. Love cannot survive in a closet.” CMT’s Cody Alan adds, “[when you come out of the closet] you become almost more human. That’s one of the things I appreciate about country music is that it always [allows you to speak] to your [human] reality.”
Veteran country artist Billy Gilman and the previously mentioned Wright offer powerful takeaways from the conversation “Listen and adhere to country music. It’s about family. Everyone should be loved,” notes the former. “The times are shifting us all into this new and better place…better for our children and loved ones,” says Wright.